Thursday, February 4, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks: Romance Tropes Edition-Fake Relationships

 

February....the time we listen to a rodent, hoping the little bastard doesn't see his shadow to all things romantic, sweet and drippy. We all expect, on February 14th, to get chocolates and flowers and oodles of lovey, dovey poems and such. Over at Wandering Through The Shelves, it is Romance month starting  with fake relationships. Have you ever tried this once? Well, I have but just for a few minutes with one of my dearest friends V.J....the one who lives in Vancouver. He and I have done this more than once to put one over on some morons or just to have a little fun. He hated it when I pinched his cheek calling him my Cutesy, Ootsey. We would happily walk away, laughing and him asking me never to do that again. Where was I? Oh yeah, I know there are probably tons of films with this type relationship but these were the 3 that came into my head. I have discussed the great What's Up, Doc? just in my previous post so here are 3 I will discuss.

1. IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT-1934

Clark Gable won an Oscar for this role(not Gone With The Wind) and so did Claudette Colbert, Frank Capra(director), Best Adapted Screenplay (Robert Riskin) and Best Picture...yup, the top 5. This was a huge suprise since it came from Poverty Row studio, Columbia Pictures. A team had to stop Claudette Colbert from getting on a train so she could go accept the award. Gable didn't want to go do this picture but he had no choice since he was under contract, was a bad boy, and sent to this studio as punishment. Colbert plays an American heiress, newly married but hates it, who jumps ship(yacht), literally, and takes off but not sure where. She ends up on a bus and meets up with a reporter who thinks he will have the story of a lifetime since he knows who she is. She lets him help her because she does not want to go back but, when the bus leaves without them, they must find a way to move about the states with the help of a thumb and a pretty leg. They end up in a motel and must pretend they are husband and wife in order to stay. This is where one recalls the famous scene where a rope and a blanket separates the 2 of them when they go to sleep. It is also when Gable was blamed for the undershirt business taking a nosedive because he was wearing any when he was undressing. They find out they need each other more than they want to admit. a classic film in every way.

2. THE PROPOSAL-2009


Sandra Bullock plays an uptight, dislikeable bitch editor of a publishing company who violated her work visa and will be sent back to Canada(this character is supposed to be Canadian...really? We are so nice) so, not wanting to lose her position in the company, she blackmails her assistant, played by Canadian, Ryan Reynolds, to marry her otherwise he will lose his aspirations of becoming an editor himself. They travel to Alaska where she meets his family, surprised to find out her assistant comes from a very rich family. They must fake their relationship to everyone, even his nice old gammy played by the great Betty White. If Bullock is any more uptight you know those coals shoved up her butt will come out diamonds, but the family try to warm to this gal even though his dad isn't buying into the whole thing. The immigration man is having no parka pulled over his eyes and travels to Alaska to prove he is right and they are faking it. This is an enjoyable comedy, quite sweet without any major surprises that plays on TV on a regular basis. 

3. WE'RE THE MILLERS-2013

This film is anything but sweet and not for everyone but I love it so you know it is depraved. You have Jason Sudeikis as the penultimate under-achiever who makes a living selling drugs and using some himself(just pot). His teenage neighbour loves talking to him even though he pays him no mind to the teen. His other neighbour, played by Jennifer Aniston, is a stripper who is close to being evicted..oh yes and she hates his guts. Unfortunately, when Sudeikis helps out a girl (who is just a petty thief) from these roughians , his money is taken, by these future inmates, which puts him in a no win position with his slimy boss to "accept" a run to Mexico to pick up a small amount of drugs.  How will he do this? Become a stereotype waspish family with an RV, of course. He pays  the stripper, the naive, innocent teen(well, not the teen, poor kid) and the thief to be his family. They cross into Mexico but, when they realize how much drugs they must bring back, they start hyper-ventilating. I find it hilarious and it is not for kids...well, duh! Yes, there are drugs, foul language and a spider bite that makes everyone cringe so it is not for everyone but, to me, it is funny. 

So...which 3 would you choose?


45 comments:

  1. Hi, Birgit!

    Please don't send me flowers or chocolates, dear friend. I prefer cold hard cash. :)

    Mrs. Shady and I sometimes pretend to be married. (BA-DUM-BUMP)

    I don't think I've seen any of these films, but they interest me. How many things can we count that are wrong in that hitchhiking scene from It Happened One Night? Clark's character is bossy, condescending and misogynistic toward Claudette's, and frankly my dear, he doesn't give a damn. Hitchhiking was deemed hazardous to your health and life in the years since the picture was made. She calls him a "smart aleck," a term that became obsolete decades ago. A woman using her sex appeal to get a desired result, in this case pulling up her skirt and displaying her "gams" or "pins" to passing motorists, is un-PC in modern society.

    I love anything Sandra Bullock appears in, and I think I'd enjoy The Proposal. Is it PC for a woman to drop to her knees before a man on a public street corner? I think not! Call me old fashioned, but I say that kind of activity belongs behind closed doors in the Oval Office. I also love Mary Steenburgen, Denis O'Hare from various seasons of American Horror Story, and Michael Nouri from Fashdance, but cringe at the sight of Betty White in so many films and TV shows. She's been showing up regularly as we binge on Boston Legal. Nevertheless I intend to seek out and watch The Proposal.

    "I can't feel my bingo!" Okay, the third movie is must see for me. I read some of the dialogue on IMDB and confirmed that Emma Roberts (as Casey) is at her potty-mouth best. I love Emma and will watch anything with her or with Jennifer Aniston. Together is even better, and therefore I'm all in with We're the Millers.

    The only thing that pops into my head is the TV series The Americans in which Russian KGB agents posing as an American married couple with kids do their spy thing in Washington, D.C. during the Reagan administration in the early 80s. I highly recommend the series.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend BB!

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    1. Oh wow...look at you go with poor Clark and Claudette. This is now an 87 yr old movie so we see things that are not considered PC now but I don’t care. She shows her leg and it gets results, look at all the reality shows today like the Bachelor where women use more than their leg to try and get what they want. Clark Gable’s style would never work today, in fact, I think he would get pitted with tomatoes by many women and men today but he works when he was The King. Glad you like The Proposal which is very popular this week. You are one person who is not a Betty White fan, along with my hubby. I think you would like We’ The Millers..I have a feeling.

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  2. I guess I haven't seen too many of those movies. The only ones that come to mind are Green Card and Overboard.

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    1. They are perfect choices and I almost chose them...maybe I should have.

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  3. The Proposal is one of my favourite romantic comedies and, despite the annoying character, I love Bullock in it. I don't remember much about We're the Millers but I wasn't a huge fan.

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    1. Bullock cane make a dislikeable character and make you feel for her. I always have the feeling that they will divorce in the sequel. Miller’s is not for everyone.

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  4. Hi Birgit...haven’t seen any of these but have put the last one on my to see list!.....
    Just plodding along here in lockdown but at least only 2 days and I get my vaccine.....take care lovely and stay safe xxxx

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    1. The last one is very politically incorrect and rude but funny so hope you like it. So glad you are getting your shot.

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  5. The Proposal is popular today! We're The Millers is so funny, I liked it way more than I expected it to. I have It Happened One Night on my Blind Spot list this year so I'm really looking forward to finally seeing it.

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    1. It is popular. Hope you like It Happened One Night when you see it. Miller’s is very funny especially that spider scene.

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  6. Hi Birgit - I haven't seen any of these ... but I'll take The Proposal ... if it ever pops up for me to see ... stay safe - Hilary

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  7. The closest I can come to one of these is "While You Were Sleeping," with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman. She works as a fare collector for the Chicago Transit Authority and fantasizes about this guy who gets on he train at her station. One day he falls off the L platform and into a coma. She jumps after him and saves him, then goes to see him at the hospital, where she's mistaken for his fiancee. While he's in a coma, she spends a lot of time with his family, and his brother starts to get suspicious, because it doesn't seem like she knows a lot about him. Naturally, love blooms between her and the brother. When the guy wakes up, he doesn't know her, so she has to confess that it was all a lie, but by then the brother is so smitten that he proposes and they live happily ever after.

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    1. Yes that is a nice movie and I would have chosen the brother over the eyebrow.

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  8. I think It Happened One Night benefited from it being made at the somewhat ramshackle (at the time) Columbia. It has a rough edge charm to it that along with Capra's direction and the chemistry of the stars make it special. I think that rushed indifference by Gable and Colbert helped their dynamic in the film, when they were reteamed in Boom Town later on their pairing just didn't have the same snap.

    I liked The Proposal when I saw it in the theatre, Betty White was adorable, but I've never been drawn back to it the way I am to many romcoms.

    I've been on the fence with We're the Millers. It looks dumb but I like some of the cast so I'll get around to it one of these day.

    Since this is one of those gimmicks that's been in use for decades it was easy to come up with three this time out.

    Picture Perfect (1997)-Kate Mosley (Jennifer Aniston) toils in a junior position at a big New York advertising agency and despite her competence cannot seem to get ahead. Turns out her boss feels she is too much of a free spirit and tells her he needs to see her commitment to settling down before she moves up in the company. So when she goes to a wedding and has a picture taken with a stranger named Nick (Jay Mohr) she passes him off as her fiancée earning her a promotion. Since he lives in Boston all is well with the deception until he becomes famous by saving a child from a burning building and her boss wants to meet him. On the spot she finds Nick and convinces him to play along but complications ensue. Bright, breezy romcom with a terrific cast.

    Come Live with Me (1941)-Viennese immigrant Johnny Jones (a ravishing Hedy Lamarr) is in danger of being deported unless she gets married pronto. The problem is that her wealthy boyfriend, publisher Barton Kendrick (Ian Hunter) is already married and wife Diana (Verree Teasdale) isn’t about to give him a divorce! By chance she meets broke writer Bill Smith (James Stewart) and proposes a marriage of convenience. Instantly smitten Bill goes along but has ideas of his own. Though they seem polar opposites Hedy and Jimmy make a most compatible couple.

    Hired Wife (1940)-To avoid a hostile takeover of his cement company CEO Stephen Dexter (Brian Aherne) proposes an in name only marriage to his super-efficient secretary Kendal (Rosalind Russell) so he can transfer his assets to her name. She consents but when the danger is passed and Stephen wants a divorce so he can return to his gold-digging former girlfriend Phyllis (Virginia Bruce) Kendal, who carries a torch for him, pulls all sorts of tricks and ploys to maintain the ruse. Roz was one of the queens of this sort of screwy comedies in the 40’s and she’s a vivacious delight here.

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    1. You know...I had to look this up and realized I didn’t see too many and went to The Proposal because it was in my face and is everywhere this week. If you likenthe Miller’s, I will fall over with a feather. I can’t see you like it but I could be wrong. I haven’t seen any of these films but do want to see the last 2. I love Jimmy Stewart so that one is a must. This past Wednesday I posted about 5 films I would choose if I was stuck somewhere. I hope you can visit and love to know what you would choose.

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  9. Whenever I come across We're the Millers and The Proposal on TV, I hang around until the next commercial. I've seen both movies all the way through several times. I knew I'd like The Proposal because of Sandra Bullock, but I didn't think I would like the other movie so much. They're both good mindless fun for me to watch.

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    1. They are mindless and so much fun to watch

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  10. Glad to see the Proposal on this list! I also really enjoyed this movie and Sandra and Ryan really had great chemistry with each other!


    Check out my Thursday Movie Picks!

    Ronyell @ The Surreal Movies and TV Blog

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  11. Of these three I've only seen the first one. Nothing is coming to my mind at the moment though I did see a film just the other night that I think would fit well into this theme. Now if only I could remember what that film was.

    If anything pops into my head I'll come back to offer it into the list.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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    1. You have to leave the room and walk back into it again which is my trick. Hope to know which one popped into yòur head.

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  12. I love The Proposal:)
    Stay safe. Be well.

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  13. I do love the fake relationship trope. One of my favorite books uses it. I do love It Happened One Night. I have seen The Proposal. We're the Millers is not my kind of film, so I'll skip it.

    Can I think of three off the top of my head? Hmmm... Midnight (with Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, and John Barrymore). And I'm blank. Sigh.

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    1. Midnight is yet another old film I have yet to see. I found it tough this year.

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  14. I can't say I've ever faked a relationship, although there are a couple guys I could call should the need arise, lol. The only movie I can think of off the top of my head is How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days. It was sort of a fake relationship since they were both pretending to like each other, until they actually fell in love.

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    1. It was fun to pretend because we often would get into an “argument” and I would throw in that he cheated on me once with a man and a woman at the same time. The peoples’ eyes said it all and my friend also had his eyes pop out. We laughed afterwards and were glad never to see them again.

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  15. Birgit,

    We've seen The Proposal and absolutely love it - super duper hilarious! I can't say for sure if we saw We're the Millers but it I kinda think we did or at least started it. It Happened One Night definitely have not seen but would love to. Thanks for sharing these movie titles. Now, I'm off to find that vintage classic flick!

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    1. The classic film you would love. We’re the Millers..I don’t think so😁

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  16. I've seen the Proposal, and it is pretty funny. I may have to rewatch that soon. That's for the reminder. Have a great end of your week!

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  17. Interesting category!

    Let's see...

    Picture Perfect
    Green Card (similar premise to The Proposal)
    Singing in the Rain kind of counts, actually, with Lockwood/Lamont
    Addicted to Love

    There's gotta be one based on a Noel Coward play that's just not coming to me at the moment...

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    1. Noel Coward must have a show with this theme for sure. I love your picks and Singing in the Rain is a great choice because, not only. The fake relationship between Lockwood and Lamont but the fakery of Lamont’s voice on the big screen.

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    2. What made me think of Noel Coward...

      There are more of these sorts of stories in an earlier era of film and it was a way to get past the Code - not to mention law and other forms of social norming - to tell stories about gay relationships, though they were generally presented as heterosexual ones. To me, Noel Coward is the most obvious writer along these lines, as out as a gay man could have been in that era. Look at most of his plays - Brief Encounter is an excellent example - and imagine it as a gay relationship instead. The whole story takes on new dimension.

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  18. It Happened One Night was fun wasn't it? And Clark Cable was definitely a hottie.
    Hope you are having a pain free day.

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    1. He was a huge hunk a doodle in the 30s and a man’s man as well.

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  19. Hi Birgit, haven't seen any of these film, romantic isn't my bag really, although I did like Pretty Woman.
    Hope all is well with you and coping with whatever lockdown you are in, keep safe, Kate x

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    1. Pretty woman is a great pick. I am doing well and wish you the same. Be safe as well.

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  20. I enjoyed We're The Millers. The Proposal was good too, but felt a little meh at times.

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  21. I was going to pick It Happened One Night and decided against it. I'm one of the few that didn't like The Proposal though - the chemistry between Sandra and Ryan is okay, and most of the humor is more awkward than funny. The parts I've seen of We're The Millers were funny though. I might watch the whole film sometime.

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  22. I'm a huge fan of We're the Millers so I'm really glad you picked that one. Can't stand The Proposal, but I know it's popular. Haven't seen It Happened One Night.

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  23. Love your humorous takes on life, Birgit! ☺ Hubby and I have no use for Valentine's Day, a fake, commercial holiday, designed to rip off consumers. We should be loving and caring year 'round, when it suits us, yes? Anyway, your movie choices are all ones I've seen and enjoyed. One that comes to mind: While You Were Sleeping.

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  24. Aw! Cutesy, Ootsey.
    We're the Millers is such a great choice! That film cracks me up.

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